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New Library Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021

Published: 27th January 2016

Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today, Wednesday, 27 January 2016, announced the roll-out of a new Library Capital Investment Programme for the period 2016-2021.

The programme will see a contribution of some €22m by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in some 16 library capital developments and the mainstreaming of the Open Libraries initiative.

Speaking at the launch of the new programme at Tallaght Library in South Dublin, the Minister said he was “delighted to be in a position to announce the new round of investment in libraries, which is one of the key pillars of Opportunities for All: A Strategy for Public Libraries, the Department’s public library policy document”. The Minister stressed the importance of continued investment in the library service and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment in this regard. The Minister said “the new programme underpins mine and the Government’s commitment to the Library Service in Ireland. The public purse still faces significant challenges, but it is a measure of our commitment to securing a good and consistent standard of library infrastructure across all local authority areas that I can make an announcement of this scale today”.

As key element of the investment programme is the allocation of €2.3m for the mainstream roll-out of the Department’s Open Libraries initiative, which will offer seven-day opening from 8am–10pm. The Minister highlighted the importance of Open Libraries describing it as “an exciting development that will improve the link between communities and a key local authority service, the local library. It represents a commitment to good quality library services by both central and local government. Based on the feedback from the Open Library pilots and the degree of interest from local authorities in rolling-out the initiative further, I believe it is an extension of the library service that will prove hugely popular and successful in the years to come.”

In concluding, the Minister thanked those in the library service who contributed to the development programme and who will be key to its successful implementation. In particular, the Minister thanked the staff of every local library “for their continued professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm and their continued commitment to providing a high quality service to all sections of the community.”

Midland Region - Programme of Investment

Laois, Portlaoise, €1.65m

Offaly, Edenderry, €1.7m

Longford, Edgeworthstown, €1.25m

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